HawkEye Aerial Defense System (HAD)

SixTech Systems is the exclusive distributor of the HawkEye Aerial Defense (HAD) System, a counter-drone solution engineered and manufactured exclusively by our partners. They maintain a database of drone profiles to ensure their counter-drone technologies are responsive to emerging threats posed by the latest drone formats.

How It Works

Drone Dome

Using a network of sensors and proprietary software, the HAD System creates an electronic security zone that encapsulates a building providing the ability to detect (and track), identify, and defend against multiple drones simultaneously.

Detect / Identify / Mitigate

Basic Detection – If the objective is simply to generate an alert when a drone is within a specified range of a facility, this can be accomplished using a single HAD unit. However, HAD is easy and affordable to scale. Expanding the coverage area simply by adding additional units. It will also enable a greater breadth and depth of information to be gathered regarding drone activity in an airspace.

Enhanced Protection - If a more comprehensive counter-drone strategy is needed to cover larger spaces with more complicated layouts, a multi-unit system can be deployed that can be scaled and customized using triangulation via additional sensors.

Both configurations feature:

  • Detection diameter up to 2 km (1.25 miles)
  • Extended range of detection
  • All-Weather Effectiveness
  • Fully automated - 24/7/365 vigilance
  • Fully-Automated and Efficient Operation:   
    • No additional manpower needed
    • Minimal operator training required
    • Seamless integration into existing security systems
    • HAD’s database is updated periodically to stay current with the latest drone signatures
    • Alarms/alerts are automatically triggered when a drone is detected.
    • Automated reporting delivers the most critical information up-front in a summary format revealing: the number of drones entering the airspace, the drone model, intrusion time, and frequency of recurrence.

A Software-Centric Solution – the continuous introduction of new drone formats to the market mandates that to be effective, a counter-drone system must have a dynamic software platform to execute timely updates of its database of “drone DNA” for the new drone models. This adaptability is critical to ensure the system is both reliable and effective. HAD enables this to be done via the Internet.

A multi-unit HAD System provides a more comprehensive menu of capabilities:

360 Degree / Dual-layer Protection / 24-7 – HAD creates a two-layered “security dome” tailored to the specifics of the user’s security objectives and strategy. The exterior zone can be tuned to alert of the presence of a drone whereby the interior zone can be configured to trigger specified countermeasures. The security zones can be customized to fit any size facility and can accommodate irregular boundaries as needed.

Locate and Track Multiple Drones 

Real-time tracking of a drone’s location is critical to determining if and what type of countermeasures should be deployed. To achieve this, multiple HAD units are utilized to create an aerial security perimeter. This configuration enables the HAD System to generate a map of the monitored area to identify and track the precise location of all drones in the monitored airspace.

Automated Tracking and AlertsHADs sensors provide “24/7/365” real-time tracking of drone activity within the designated security zone. This enables tailoring of the nature and level of the security response. HAD’s proprietary software enables real-time tracking of multiple drones simultaneously, in any conditions, day or night, automatically!

Alerts of intrusions can be sent through SMS, the software user interface, e-mail, network (TCP/IP), SNMP, or smartphone push notification.

Approximate the Location of the Pilot - HAD can assist a security team in approximating the location of a drone’s operator which is a key element of the interdiction process. In addition, because the system is documenting each flyover, this information can be used as evidence to present to and directly address a drone’s operator as to the purpose of recurring flyovers. 

Pilot GIF

Collect Drone Forensics 

Not only does HAD’s software track multiple drones simultaneously, it also identifies and documents each drone as a unique entity. This capability enables the creation and application of a “whitelist” (“friendly”) and “blacklist” (“threat”) from the database of drone identities stored in the system adding filtering capabilities and precision to overall drone situational awareness.

HAD assigns a unique identifier to each drone entering the aerial security zone and records the clock time/length/frequency of its flights within this airspace. This information aids security staff in determining if a drone is simply passing by or conducting recurring, unwelcome surveillance flights and thus, may be used to document and investigate the pilot’s actions and intent.

Soft-Landing MitigationCurrently, interfering with a drone’s flight (“mitigation”) is only permitted within the U.S. at a limited number of designated sites. We anticipate that the FAA directives contained in the Reauthorization Act of 20181 will expand the type and number of entities authorized to mitigate drones in a manner that avoids harm to people and property on the ground. Why not be prepared?

The HAD System has a proven, Soft-landing Mitigation™ capability pre-engineered into its form factor. If authority is granted to deploy this capability, it can be activated with a software upgrade. Soft-landing Mitigation will likely be the primary form of interdiction approved for civilian use as it avoids causing collateral damage to people and property.

HawkEye’s Soft-landing Mitigation™ feature automatically interdicts RF-piloted drones as they enter the protected airspace and is particularly effective against “swarms” (multiple drones entering the airspace simultaneously). HAD sends rogue drones to a pre-programmed landing-zone where the device can be inspected and confiscated if desired.

Why RF-based Technology is Preferred as the Core of a Counter-drone Strategy

All counter-drone solutions have advantages, limitations, and drawbacks that must be evaluated depending upon the application. A system must detect, identify and, when appropriate, mitigate hostile drone threats. RF-based counter-drone systems afford the best effectiveness in terms of power, accuracy and manpower required to operate successfully.

  • RF based counter-drone systems - Able to determine the location and telemetry of a drone by intercepting its radio frequency (RF) signal. Nearly all drones rely on RF signals for communication with a controller. While this could change over time, RF is the predominate technology used to guide/communicate with a drone.
  • Radar based counter-drone systems are widely available technology and often can be integrated into other defense technologies. These systems can detect objects from several kilometers away and can also help determine telemetry data for detected objectives. One weakness of this technology, however, is that radar systems have difficulty classifying targets, e.g. distinguishing birds from drones, and must be paired with another technology to identify the make and model of a drone. Moreover, if the radar is calibrated to be sensitive to small objects (small drones), it risks generating so many false positives that operators can become desensitized or frustrated to the alarms.
  • Kinetic counter-drone systems physically damage or interfere with a targeted drone. Unlike RF-based systems which cast an active security zone in the airspace about a property, kinetic counter-drone systems have to engage the target on a one-to-one basis which is very difficult to execute because drones are small and nimble. In addition, significant collateral damage can occur when the targeted drone is missed, damaged or disabled causing it to fall from the sky.
  • Multiple sensor systems combine different technologies such as cameras, infrared technology, and acoustic detectors. The premise in combining sensor formats is that the various technologies will counterbalance the weaknesses and gaps in one another. Some of the challenges with a multi-sensor approach:  
    • Optical sensors (cameras) have many of the same challenges as the human eye in that there must be line of sight to the target, adequate daylight and weather conditions that don’t inhibit visibility.
    • Using these combined technologies, a database of sounds emanating during drone flyovers and flight characteristics has to be developed and maintained to catalogue and create various “drone signatures.” In addition, as new drones enter the market, this type of data must be continuously gathered by the system and added to the database in order to ensure the systems’ viability. This can be a significant obstacle for many counter-drone systems that rely on a combined sensor strategy as motivated operators need only tweak their drones slightly to avoid detection by sight or sound.
    • The system’s operator often has to interpret feedback from multiple types of sensors which can generate conflicting reports or false positives.

Contact Us to Learn More About HAD

1 - The Whys of the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act